June 21st, 2012

Exclusive: PoliticsHome / DeHavilland Merger Monopoly Fears
+ + + Office of Fair Trading Refers Ashcroft Bid + + +
+ + + Competition Commission to Rule on Legality + + +

OFT Statement:

The OFT today referred the anticipated acquisition of the political intelligence division of DeHavilland by Dods Group PLC (Dods) to the Competition Commission. The evidence before the OFT suggests that, as a result of this merger, Dods will not face sufficient competitive constraints and this could result in higher prices or less quality for UK customers procuring political intelligence services.

Political intelligence companies monitor and track political issues on behalf of customers. A wide range of companies, public and voluntary sector organisations, as well as communications and public affairs consultancies, rely on the provision of regular, accurate and timely political intelligence.

The OFT’s investigation found that the merger parties are the two largest dedicated suppliers of these services and that close competition between them is a very important tool for UK customers to benefit from competitive prices and valued services. The merger parties’ competitors are smaller in size, scale and scope. These findings were informed by the OFT’s market investigation and an extensive customer survey submitted by the merger parties.

As a result, it is the OFT’s view that removing such significant rivalry between the merger parties might substantially lessen competition and lead to higher prices, a decline in the quality of those services or both.

Given its concerns, the OFT therefore considers it appropriate for the Competition Commission to undertake a further investigation into this matter.
The OFT further considered whether the case should not be referred to the Competition Commission on the basis that the markets were of insufficient importance, but did not find that the deal met the relevant criteria for such an exception.

Ali Nikpay, OFT Senior Director and Decision Maker in this case, said:

‘This merger would bring together by far the two largest players in the UK market. The evidence also suggests that DeHavilland and Dods are each other’s closest rivals. Based on the information before us we do not believe that this loss of competition would be compensated through expansion by smaller rivals, entry by new players or customers switching to self-supply. As such, we consider it appropriate to refer the merger to the Competition Commission for further investigation.’

Guido warned about this back in February. Lobbyists who are the main subscribers to the monitoring service have been telling Guido they feared a quasi-monopoly would lead to price gouging. So it seems do the authorities…


  1. 1
    Ha says:

    the BBC will love this.


    • 3
      BBC Guardian C4 Mirror Unions we are one says:

      Let lose the hounds and let the next wankfest begin!


    • 54
      Pogo says:

      Frankly, who outside the Westminster circle-jerk gives a flying fuck whether one set of parasites screws over other sets of parasites?


  2. 2
    Lord Wayne of Media says:

    What a boring self congratulating story


    • 42
      Pickles is lazy says:

      Yes. I’d muchn rather Guido would stop looking at his navel and covered the scandals of our unreformed local governments, many of which are rife with theft, corruption and mismanagement, often being covered up by the party system.


  3. 4
    EVAD says:


    • 8
      Anonymous says:

      Fat useless c’unts also get peerages, John?


      • 25
        will says:

        john you only took a peerage because you shagged your secretary and your wife wanted to be a lady in return for your affair. the secretary got sacked you get a peerage, some frickin justice !!!


        • 27
          jrand says:

          The ex-ship’s steward shagged his secretary but this fine upstanding example of a peace loving cr*eed raped and pillaged young lassies, digest his edifying rant before its taken down: http://bit.ly/NYHBR3


        • 28
          jrand says:

          The Liebour Lordship shagged his secretary but this fine upstanding example of a peace loving cr*eed r*aped and p**illaged young lassies, digest his edifying rant before its taken down: http://bit.ly/NYHBR3


          • Owain Glyndwr says:

            The reason he left BR ferries is a story in itself, I was told this by a couple of stewards who worked with him (this is when I worked offshore). but things been what they are cannot repeat.


    • 24
      Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

      BBC defends left-wing comedian (‘it wasn’t illegal, he declared it to HMRC’), simultaneously brands PM a hypocrite for not slagging off Take That.

      Fair and balanced as usual.

      No doubt they’ll have Carr on Newsnight to give him a platform to retrieve his career. And Question Time in the next few weeks to prove he’s a committed Socialist.


      • 26
        will says:

        Take that scheme is slightly different in its design, so may be a tricky one as its designed to invest in the creative industry.

        It will take a lot of looking at to consider to say it illegal. Jimmy Carr’s is an out and out tax dodge.

        The BBC and guardian have been caught on the hop by this one and are trying to spin it. They need to keep thier powder dry on this as i suspect more revelations to follow, I would suspect involving other entertainment figures.

        Footballers have already been targeted and have made settlements, this is what has partly done for rangers (via big tax case and employee benefit trusts)


    • 39

      Prescott is both a comedian and a peer.

      His idiotic posturing in the house of lords {i’ll never go in tha’ Lords,me!}
      makes us all laugh.

      ..not with him..just at him.


    • 46
      Fog on the Tyne says:

      Not shagging Tracy this afternoon?


    • 52
      Blowing Whistles says:

      What about your mate Mandelson and his dodgy dealings – how many times was he given a yellow card – when he ought to have been banned for life?

      Mandy – must have a dirty little dossier on all of the old guard Labour louts. He certainly had access to far more info than most eh johnny jagmouth – you overgrown Cabin boy. Wondering if your seamen mates have got something on you. Tales of “Offshoring” ….?


  4. 5
    Dods of Brown shit says:

    Money grubbing hoons.


  5. 6
    Two Faced Dave. One rule for Ashcroft and another rule for Carr says:

    “Look I think that you have to respect people’s privacy and you have to respect the view that someone’s tax status is a matter between them and the Revenue.”


    • 9
      Anyone for wiff waff? says:


      Dave will have weighed up the pros and cons before he made his statement about Carr.

      He’s a master strategist.


    • 10
      Anonymous says:



    • 11
      Lord Stansted says:

      I think it has something to do hypocrisy – do try to keep up.


    • 13
      Backwoodsman says:

      Very good, now fuck off back to labourlost, there’s a good boy.
      WRT the story, if there weren’t so many lobbyists , there wouldn’t be a problem. ( And we wouldn’t be faced with spending an eye watering £30 billion pounds of tax payers money on HS2, so a few people can save 20 minutes on a train journey to Liverpool.)


    • 34
      Spin Doctor says:

      Dizzy, I’m so dizzy my head is spinning
      Like a whirlpool it never ends
      And it’s You girl makin’ it spin
      You’re making me dizzy

      _(With thanks to Tommy Roe)


  6. 7
    Just me says:

    I can analyse politics very well on my own.I know which way the wind is blowing. It cost nothing. These companies are full of shit and not worth the money.


  7. 12
    Ali Mong says:

    What a waste of time and money.


  8. 14
    amongymous says:

    Always thought Randalls were better than both of them anyway.


  9. 15
    Limp Dicks says:

    We will oppose any change to GCSEs. Every single child deserves at least 10 A*s. Anything less would be an abuse of their human rights.


    • 53
      Blowing Whistles says:

      Have the Establishments Government and Opposition [both in the theatre of the house of cads ‘n cards] been playing fast ‘n loose with the actuality, the truth and the ‘billions’ taken in taxes from the masses – for decades?

      Sub note – Who actually are the persons behind Moodys and the other Credit agencies – we only ever get the firms’ names – but who are the actual ‘people’ hiding behind these ‘organizations’ – how are their strings pulled – who pulls their strings?


  10. 16
    Ali Mong says:

    It is hypocritical. But hey ho come the next election the Tory opposition will have plenty of time to analyse where they went wrong.


  11. 17

    O/T BAE Systems are testing a pilot less plane , which they see as the way forward
    it is hoped to introduce it into commercial flights in the future
    Just imagine , One minor computer malfunction and 300 passengers plummet to the ground
    Fuck That !


    • 19
      Remote Cotrol says:

      Well they already fly drones over P@kist@n while sat in an airconditioned porta cabin in Navada. So why not let pilots work from home?


      • 22
        Owain Glyndwr says:

        Now that is a job to die for, cup of coffee in one hand and blasting the phuck out of the religion of peace mongs.


    • 30
      albacore says:

      Don’t show disdain for a pilotless plane
      After all, for decades now, in the main
      A clockwork banana would have done more good
      Than the Parliaments we’ve had chewing the cud


  12. 20
    The Mechanic says:

    “The merger parties’ competitors are smaller in size, scale and scope.”
    Isn’t this a business where competence is more useful than size, scale and scope? If that’s right, then users should be flocking to the doors of those small competitors!


  13. 23
    Lord Cashcroft, Cashcroft House, Cashcroft, Cashcroftshire says:

    Ok ok . How much do you want for the site?


  14. 32
    Anonymous says:


    an instance of when the law is so silly it makes you feel like breaking it just for the hell of it – although I do hope i haven’t insulted anyone by that statement.


  15. 33
    Olivia de Havilland, of the California branch of the family says:

    My sister Joan Fontaine and I were our own closest rivals (and we still hate each other). But then again, we had plenty of competitors of equal stature.


  16. 35
    Pickles is lazy says:

    Having sat on his backside for a couple of years doing nothing about the councils which are still spending hundreds of throusands of pounds in propaganda, much of it, as in the corrupted borough of Waltham Foest, Eric Pickles has announed…


    … that he’s going to sit on his backside doing nothing for another two years. Meanwhile, the taxpayers in Waltham Forest are being stung for some £490,000 a year for the bill for a council department to churn out what are blatant panglossian lies about the doings of the local authority every two weeks, much of it barely bothering to disguise itself as propaganda in favour of the Labour Party’s social engineering agendas


  17. 36
    Mr Jay says:

    Who needs these paid-for services when Twitter exists?


  18. 38
    Gordon Brown says:

    Please send the Ring and RIde


  19. 41
    BBC News says:

    Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Leveson..Phone Hacking..NHS cuts..Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Ashcroft! Leveson..Phone Hacking..NHS cuts..

    {and something about the EU collapsing right at the end, before the little cat rescued from a puddle makes you all go AHhhhh!}


  20. 43
    Jimmy Carr says:

    Lefties who stood outside Top Shop screaming in rage against tax avoidance been kindly supporting my stance on a liberal interpretation of income tax.

    Is it just me, or are they all a little bit simple?


  21. 51
    The Irish Times says:

    Ireland Wants Answers: Why Was Finance Minister at Bilderberg Meeting?


    It appears Iceland is starting to arrest those responsible for its financial ruin, just across the waters this week, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan is facing tough questions from his parliamentary colleagues as to why he attended the 2012 Bilderberg Meeting last month – and what he said.

    But he’s not talking…


Media Reader

John Humphrys Admits Skewed BBC Coverage | David Keighley
Bad News About News | Bob Keiser
When to Quit Your Journalism Job | Press Think
Guardian Looks Outside North London For New Editor | Media Guido
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette
Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
All Star Line Up for New BBC Theme Park | David Keighley
City AM’s Kate McCann Joins The Sun | MediaGuido
What Has 57 Heads, 12 Controllers and 321 Editors? | Press Gazette

Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….

“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,646 other followers